Working on my mind

My head is a jumbled mess of past and present memories. Apparently (so said my counselor) I have linked my current memories of abuse with my past memories. So every time I think about the things he said and did it brings back a whole slew of memories from my past. So to separate the past memories I guess I’m supposed to talk about them. I don’t want to talk about them. If I don’t talk about them I will continue to make bad choices in the people who I allow into my life. Now, this is only the second time I have chosen an abusive person. I know why. I understand that I choose the person I identify with. The first time I didn’t know any better and didn’t leave until my back had been broken. And then I went back twice. I thought to myself “self maybe this is the way people treat people”. After being away from him for a while I meet people who didn’t treat others that way. I started to learn how to treat others and how I wanted to be treated. So, what happened.

Was I lonely, well yes kind of, was I looking for love, yes certainly. So when I met him I saw someone like me. He had been alone for a long time. Raising his son by himself. He was also looking not to get hurt. These are the things he let me assume. I have since learned that this was not necessarily the case.  His son’s mother had left him and then there was a lengthy battle over custody of the son. Okay well I could relate to all of that. He made it sound like she was cheating and she was a bad mom. That she just gave them up and moved away. After living with him for the last six years I have realized that this isn’t the whole truth.

How does this relate to how I fell in love with him and became a verbal punching bag. Well, he didn’t mean to be jealous he had been cheated on. He didn’t mean to yell he just had so much pent-up anger because of the things that were done to him. I felt love and sympathy. I felt like we had been through so many of the same things and I didn’t yell and get jealous so I could help him not yell and be jealous. So I closed my eyes. I thought if I am calm they will learn to be calm. That worked for a while. No matter what he said and did I didn’t react. After some time this became harder and harder to do. I would beg him not to yell. I would beg him to stop. Nothing helped and by then we were married.

So I wasn’t blind to what was happening. After some time I started yelling back. I tried to defend myself. I said to myself that I was being strong. I was standing up for myself. He would say “see, I’m not the bad guy, how can I not act this way if you can’t even control your own anger”. “If you would just do what I say I wouldn’t get mad”. “If you would stop telling me what to do and blaming me for everything I wouldn’t have to yell”. I accepted these as fact and tried to give him what he wanted. Control! Then it started to escalate. I should have left then.

 

By TJP

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